Battle news

31 March 2010
Battle for Politics: video online

Battle for Politics sessions are now becoming available to watch online on the Battle of Ideas YouTube channel.

Start with They know what we’re thinking and subscribe to the channel to be updated as more appear.

7 December 2009
Battle of Ideas 2009 Keynote Videos

A number of Battle of Ideas 2009 Keynote Sessions are now available to watch online on the Battle of Ideas youtube channel.

Session Videos:


4 December 2009
Institute of Ideas Christmas Lecture 2009

The IoI Christmas lecture 2009 - Privacy, human rights and the Law - will be held on Tuesday December 15.

John Fitzpatrick, professor of law and director of the Kent Law Clinic, University of Kent at Canterbury will speak on the following subject:

Current policy and practice concerning the national DNA database have thrown into sharp relief the relationship between the individual and the state. How important is privacy in our lives today, and does the ‘surveillance state’ pose a threat to it? Does the retention of our DNA profiles represent an invasion of our privacy, or even undermine the principle that we are innocent until proven guilty? Should the principle of consent bow before the practical gains for the prevention and detection of crime? John Fitzpatrick assesses the recent contribution made by the law, and human rights law in particular, to these issues.

Time: 7pm Tuesday December 15 2009
Venue: Friends House, 173 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ.

For more details and to get your ticket, see the IoI pages here.

2 December 2009
Battle of Ideas 2009 Speaker Quotes

Read a wide selection of speakers’ quotes from this year’s Battle of Ideas: saying how they felt about the Festival. Lots of very good arguments as to why you should have next year’s dates (October 30th and 31st 2010) in your diary already.

Read the quotes here [in PDF format].

5 November 2009
Battle of Ideas 2009 Extended Press Coverage

It was disappointing to see how quickly we adopted the tawdry norms of African and global politics
Sharmini Brookes & Andrew Feinstein in the Independent Independent Minds

Q&A with John Cooper
Luke Gittos & John Cooper in the Independent Ind>ependent Minds

We must stop being tolerant of repression
Wendy Kaminer in spiked

Germany: still divided after all these years
Sabine Reul in spiked

The media perspective on religious news
Ruth Gledhill in Religious Intelligence

Too many of us?
Austen Ivereigh in America Magazine

Is this the end of the line for the impartial documentary?
David Cox in the Guardian Film Blog

Parents’ Liberation Movement sound rallying cry against Supernanny state
Edd McCracken in the Herald Scotland

Critical thinking
Tiffany Jenkins in the Times Higher Education

A Battle of Ideas
Graham Smith, Republic Blog

We do need sex education
Simon Blake, talking of sex Blog

Battle of Ideas
Humphrey Hawksley, Humphrey Hawksley Blog

Teachers, Parents, money in football and Museums for World Peace. It Must be the Battle of Ideas…
Sarah Ebner, The Times, School Gate Blog

Battle of Ideas: three’s a crowd
Adrian Stott, The Times, Eureka Zone Blog

Cartoons and Offence
Christian Adams, Telegraph, The Cartoon Blog

What makes good science television
Timandra Harkness, The Times, Eureka Zone Blog

No Resistance to the Pen Pushers
Melanie Newman in Times Higher Education

3 November 2009
Battle of Ideas 2009 Audio available now

Battle of Ideas 2009 welcome address

Rethinking education – the new crisis of adult authority in the classroom

Post-recession Ideologies: it’s the politics, stupid!

Rethinking Privacy in an age of Disclosure and Sharing

Rethinking Freedom in an Illiberal Age: securing rights or celebrating liberty?

Rethinking Therapy Culture: changing the subject?

Nudge Nudge, Nag Nag: the new politics of behaviour

Should physician-assisted dying be legalised?

The Art of Criticism: judgement in crisis?

2 November 2009
Battle 2009 Keynotes press coverage

Read a selection of recent coverage of the Battle of Ideas 2009.

Denying physics won’t save the video stars
Technology is making file sharing easier and easier. It will take more than unfair laws and harsh punishments to stop it
Cory Doctorow in The Times

Interview with Claire Fox in Cherwell

Give teachers authority or betray our children
Frank Furedi

Why I changed my mind on assisted dying
Ray Tallis

Don’t ban the BNP - even racists deserve a debate
Claire Fox

The teachers who can do no right
Frank Furedi

Stand up to Supernanny
Jennie Bristow

Time Out Critics Choice

Martin Bell: ‘The House of Commons cannot be trusted to police itself’

Risky Business: Paul Wilmott on the financial sector and the economic crisis

A science education experiment gone wrong?
David Perks

Call me a bad parent, I’ll still let my kids eat cake
Jennie Bristow

The world needs more energy
Joe Kaplinsky

A step forward for genetic embryo-screening
Mark Henderson

29 October 2009
Battles in Print 2009

This year’s Battles in Print reflect the range of topics being discussed at the Battle of Ideas festival weekend, from the politics of privacy to the wonder of human flight, and include two very different perspectives on relativism in literary criticism from two English undergraduates at Oxford and Cambridge, an interview with author and former MP Martin Bell discussing the expenses scandal, and three essays on energy from strand sponsors the EPSRC. A further round of BiPs will be published after the festival itself.

Read the Battles in Print.

15 October 2009
First Battles in Print 2009 published

The first four of the Battles in Print 2009 - specially commissioned for this year - are now available to read on the website. Check back through next week and in the run up to the Battle of Ideas as we will be regularly publishing more Battles in Print relating to sessions at the Battle, helping to whet your appetite for the weekend.

The essays set out the context of the respective debates, but also advance arguments that will stimulate further discussion ahead of the festival itself and beyond.

Rethinking therapy culture, Kathryn Ecclestone

The Empty Staffroom, Richard Swan

A Journeying Perspective, Jack Tan

Rethinking privacy, Sean Bell

All Battles in Print

15 October 2009
Great Battle of Ideas deals for school and university students

Ticket deals for school and university students

We are delighted to welcome back the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as the Battle of Ideas Schools Champion. The ESRC is offering a limited number of free day tickets to school students (i.e. secondary school students 18 and under). Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone 020 7269 9220 for information.

We are equally delighted to welcome Royal Dutch Shell as our new Student Champion for the Battle of Ideas 2009. Shell is offering all current undergraduate and postgraduate students a limited number of weekend tickets for just £25 - half the normal concession rates.

These tickets are available now: first come, first served. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Festival Buzz

Still the Opium of the Masses

"There was an astonishing range of opinions expressed while I was there, some of them pure nonsense, others profound, all of them provocative."
Daniel Moylan, Deputy chairman, Transport for London